SingTel bringing HDTV content to every home in Singapore

Tuesday, January 16th, 2007 
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Mega Media and VOOM supply HD content for SingTel’s Pay TV; Content tailored to local audience

SINGAPORE — Singapore media company Mega Media is to supply an exciting and comprehensive suite of high quality High Definition (HD) channels for SingTel’s IPTV service when it is launched commercially later this year.

The slate of HD channels offers something for all audiences and it includes a number of channels in partnership with Rainbow Media’s VOOM HD Networks. VOOM HD is the world’s largest High Definition broadcaster, broadcasting 15 full HD channels in the United States. The channels on offer here will include VOOM HD, which features a line-up of High Definition programming selected from VOOM’s 15 HD Channels, including documentary, travel, music, arts, fashion and lifestyle genres among others.

In addition, Singapore consumers can expect the first Made-by-Singapore HD channel – Sling HD. This is a channel about computer gaming and extreme sports and is designed for those who take both reality and virtual reality to the extreme.

Mega Media and Voom’s HD content is currently available on SingTel’s IPTV technical trial, which began in November 2006.

Mr Jonathan Foo, Managing Director of Mega Media, said: “This agreement is an affirmation of our position as a leading producer and aggregator of made-in-HD content for the region. HD is the future of television, and that is what we are about. Singapore is leading the push into this new frontier and we are excited that we can offer local audiences the true HD experience.”

Mr Quek Peck Leng, SingTel’s Executive Vice President of Consumer, said: “HD is set to be the next wave for consumers and SingTel wants to shape the Singapore market with the most HD programming and the best HD content. For example, new local content channels like Sling HD will offer a quality programming alternative that can resonate with the Singapore viewers.”

“The collaboration with Mega Media and its partners will help differentiate us when we launch our IPTV service later this year. Our customers can look forward to quality HD content as well as on-demand HD programmes so that they can watch what they want whenever they want.

“SingTel is pleased to help stimulate the Singapore media industry and we hope to create long-term value and strategic benefit for all industry players and ultimately, the consumers,” Mr Quek added.

Mr Glenn Oakley, Rainbow Media’s Senior Vice President, Business Development, said: “We recognized the opportunity to both expand VOOM HD further into Asia and fill a growing void for quality high-definition programming when we initially decided to collaborate with Mega Media. Today’s news marks a major step in our progress and is a testament to our ability to bridge oceans in working together to meet this demand.”

Added Mr Greg Moyer, General Manager of VOOM HD Networks: “We are pleased to see our joint efforts help SingTel in its effort to lead Southeast Asia into High Definition.

We are delighted that VOOM HD will be included as SingTel rises to the forefront of the ‘next generation channels’ community and further cements its status as Asia’s leading communications group.”

The HD format offers images that are five times clearer than the existing Standard Definition (SD) TV images. To fully achieve the quality of HD, programmes must be shot and produced in HD format from the beginning and not just by up-converting SD images. Having been launched in the United States, China and Britain, HDTV deployment in Singapore kicked off in June last year, making Singapore the first in Southeast Asia to start public HDTV trials.

“This collaboration marks a milestone in the ongoing nationwide rollout of HDTV. It affirms that broadcasters and content providers see a compelling business case in providing quality HD programmes and services to consumers. Mega Media’s exciting slate of HD channels on SingTel’s IPTV service will also help to add diversity of content and provide more entertainment media options for the viewing public,” said Mr Yeo Chun Cheng, Chief Information Officer, Media Development Authority of Singapore.

MDA has issued a nationwide IPTV licence to SingTel’s wholly-owned subsidiary SingNet.